CARTHA is a curated platform that focuses on sharing different forms of critical thinking regarding architecture and society. Through opinions, experiences and works, it aspires to map out the contemporary architectural landscape.
CARTHA initiated its editorial activity in December 2014 in Basel. It is made by an international group of practicing architects and designers, who teamed-up to create an independent, periodical, non-profit publishing platform not bounded by geographical nor ideological borders. A platform that goes beyond slick imagery and provides us with time to apprehend the fast motion environment in which we evolve.
CARTHA works in cycles where each year is dedicated to a topic. The issues published within this time frame attempt to explore the selected topic from different perspectives. Cycles and issues vary in format and feature contributions that result from an open call for papers and selected collaborations with voices coming from multiple latitudes and backgrounds.
CARTHA is an ongoing archive of a territory under construction presented through three different channels: a free of charge Internet distributed publication, events and books published at the end of the cycle as the embodiment of the generated content.
CARTHA aims to generate a collective critical dialogue open to everybody. It does not rely solely on researchers and scholars to dissect our built environment, but also on individuals rooted in the practical grounds of the discipline, attempting to bridge the gap between the Academia, practice and society.
2015 On Relations in Architecture
In 2015, the steering topic for the editorial cycle was Relations in Architecture. Four issues: Worth Sharing, Confrères, Mannschaft and Santísima Trinidad, respectively aimed to dissect the ways in which we share and in which architects relate to architects, collaborators, users and clients. By choosing this topic for the first cycle we aimed at enlarging our perceptions of the role of architects within their own milieu and to raise the awareness towards the complex network of relations that lies behind our built environment.
These four issues were published with a periodicity of three months. Each issue was structured as to include an interview with a person whose profile matches the topic at hand; to feature the curated work of a selected photographer and the contributions resulting from the call for papers.
During 2015 CARTHA published a total number of 42 contributors, from which 32 were essays by authors from 16 different countries from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Additionally, the work of renowned figures and rising young names in photography brought to CARTHA’s first cycle a distinctive visual value and an extra layer of nuances and interpretations for the discussed topics.
2016 On The Form of Form
In 2016, CARTHA was chosen Associated Project of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and adopted the Triennale’s theme, The Form of Form, as its own for the editorial cycle. Our proposal as Associated Project consisted of a one-year-long reflection on the Triennale’s theme through the publishing of three issues; the realisation of two exhibitions complemented by a series of events; and the publishing of a book: the “modus operandi” of CARTHA on The Form of Form.
The first two issues were published previously to the opening of the Triennale, in April and July 2016 respectively. For these two issues CARTHA explored the format of guest-editing to allow the publication to present a broader spectrum of views on the theme and address it from different yet complementary perspectives. The third issue was produced during the Triennale with CARTHA’s editorial board as sole editors.
During 2016 CARTHA published a total number of 60 contributions, by authors from 21 different countries from Europe, the Americas and Middle East.
On Making Heimat
The special issue CARTHA – On Making Heimat is the result of an invitation by Bureau N, the office in charge of the communication of the German representation at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, to approach the topic of the German pavilion from a critical perspective.
This special issue presents a group of international voices, their positions and diverse disciplinary experiences on how the management and configuration of our built environment can help to integrate immigration in different socio-economic and cultural contexts.
The first self-published edition of this special issue was launched at the German Pavilion by CARTHA and Peter Cachola Schmal, chief-curator of the German representation and of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum – DAM.
An extended version of the books with new contributions and preface by the curatorial team of the DAM has been published in May 2017 by the Zürich based publishing house Park Books. The graphic design of the extended version has ben done in collaboration with the Basel based studio Début Début.
2017 On The Limits of Fiction in Architecture
The cycle CARTHA – On The Limits of Fiction in Architecture will expand on the question of how architecture operates with and within fiction and reality. This cycle will be articulated in two issues which aim to be complementary in content as well as in format. The first issue will consist only of texts and will be published in August 2017. The second issue will consist only of images and will be published in December 2017.
Pablo Garrido Arnaiz
Francisco Moura Veiga
Francisco Ramos Ordóñez
Previous Members of the Editorial Board
Communication and Graphic Coordination
Guest Editors 2016
Issue I – Bureau A
Issue II – Victoria Easton, Matilde Cassani and Noura Al Sayeh
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